An Ode to Humble Vegetables
I recently bought a head of red cabbage when it was on sale, which caught my eye since it was something I hadn’t purchased in quite a long time. I brought it home, cut a little bit off and cleaned it to use in a recipe that night, and then promptly left the rest of it in the fridge for a good week or two. I slowly cut off and used little sections of it, fully expecting it to be rotten the next time I opened the crisper drawer in the fridge. Each time though, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was in fact still in tact, fresh, and crisp. That head of cabbage lasted at least 5-6 weeks in my fridge, and provided us with countless meals.
As I thought about it, I realized that there are quite a few things I buy that often will last weeks for me, providing a ton of sustenance for us with very little cost. I often find that people think it’s too expensive to eat healthfully, and I get it. Sometimes, it is. There’s no question that fresh fruits and vegetables can at times be costly, and often the pre-packaged foods are just cheaper. However, once you figure out the price per meal, or think about how much more food and nutrition you can get out of something, you might be surprised to find that what you once thought of as expensive really wasn’t that bad. The other thing I find is that people think you need to consume crazy “superfoods” every day to be healthy (I see you goji berries, matcha lattes, and pricey mushroom powders). While those foods can certainly be healthful, they are NOT necessary to live an overall healthy life.
So, what I’m proposing instead is taking it back to the basics. Here’s a toast to some of the most simple foods out there: cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, and winter squashes. Though none of these foods are particularly trendy or fancy, they are heroes in my book in their bang-for-the-buck. They will last for quite a long time in your kitchen, allowing you plenty of time to figure out what to do with them before they go bad. They are hearty, nutritious, long-lasting, and easy to find. Cheers to the unsung heroes that many cultures have used traditionally for centuries!